Our History

The Bard Center for Environmental Policy was created in 1999 to promote education, research, and public service on critical issues relating to both natural and human-made environments. Its primary goal is to improve environmental policies by facilitating the use of the best available scientific knowledge in the policy-making process at the local, regional, national, and international levels. The Center’s premise is that in order to be effective in addressing environmental problems and pursuing sustainable patterns of natural resource use, scientists, economists, lawyers, ethicists, and policymakers must be able to understand one another’s perspectives and values. The general public should be a companion in these discussions as well.
Before Bard CEP
The Center's Graduate Program is the evolutionary outgrowth of Bard College's Graduate School of Environmental Studies, a program of summer course work begun in 1988 that led to the Master of Science degree in environmental studies.
About the Center
At the core of the Center is an innovative graduate program leading to either a master of science degree or a professional certificate. The emphasis on science-based policy enables students to progress from knowledge of the issues to the formulation of feasible, effective policy for dealing with them. The program is unique in its interdisciplinary approach, providing students with the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in research and policy-related positions. The program reflects the fact that today’s students face an unprecedented leadership challenge, requiring the program to not only provide rigorous curricula and sound instruction, but also a platform to change the future. 

Distinctive features include:
  • Interdisciplinary and integrated curricula
  • Small classes
  • One-on-one faculty advising
  • Extended professional internships
  • Skills-based training
  • Flexible research opportunities
A History of Leadership
The founding director of the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, Joanne Fox-Przeworski, developed the Center in order to raise awareness of the environment and engage the public through programs such as the Open Forum lecture series. Fox-Przeworski brought to Bard her deep commitment to interdisciplinary environmental education, in particular international studies, as well as her experience as former director of the United Nations Environment Programme.

Since joining Bard CEP as director in 2009, Eban Goodstein has built on the success of the Center’s interdisciplinary educational model, adding his passion for the issue of our time, climate change. In 2010 Goodstein launched a new degree in climate science and policy. Goodstein built on previous national efforts to raise awareness and encourage action on climate change issues by expanding the Center’s public programs to offer the National Climate Seminar and the C2C Fellows Network. Bard CEP, the C2C Fellows Network, and the newly developed Bard MBA in Sustainability (launched by Goodstein in 2012) all have as their core mission the imperative to train future leaders in policy and/or business while achieving sustainability. 
Meet the Director
Dr. Eban Goodstein
As director of the Bard Center for Environmental Policy and the Bard MBA in Sustainability, Goodstein believes leadership, courage, and ambition are vital to solving the climate crisis and other environmental disasters. 

Goodstein also directs two national educational initiatives on global warming: C2C Fellows and the National Climate Seminar. In recent years, he has coordinated climate education events at over 2,500 institutions across the country. Goodstein is the author of several books, including Economics and the Environment (John Wiley and Sons: 2010), Fighting for Love in the Century of Extinction: How Passion and Politics Can Stop Global Warming (University Press of New England: 2007), and The Trade-off Myth: Fact and Fiction about Jobs and the Environment (Island Press: 1999).